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The coup, named Operation Restore Legacy, was about keeping the Joint Operation Command Junta in power at all cost.
The Junta carried out the dirty work of vote rigging, looting, political violence, murder and the military coups (November coup was the second, the first was in 2008 to stop MDC getting into power). After the coup, the Junta shared out the spoils of power but this was not just about holding powerful position in the Army, party, government, etc. the legacy was about making the Junta retained a firm grip on power at all cost as the only guarantee the members’ dirty past will remained a secret.
In fact, it was the prospect of Mugabe booting them out of power and then making public the dirty things they had done for him that galvanized Mnangagwa and company to stage the coup the 15 November coup to force Mugabe to step down. By the same token, it is the prospect of someone else getting into power and dig up their dirty past that is stopping President Mnangagwa from implementing even one democratic reform and risk losing this year’s elections.
President Mnangagwa knows that for Zimbabwe’s elections to be declared free, fair and credible he must implement all the democratic reforms designed to stop the wanton violence that marked the 2008 elections and also reforms designed to stop the subvert and deny the people’s vote.
Zimbabwe’s 2013 elections were relatively peaceful, at least compared the mayhem of the 2008 elections. As long as Zanu PF has devised other more subtle ways such as bussing its supporters from one polling station to the next to cast multiple votes, getting Chiefs and other traditional leaders to coerce the voters on the party’s behalf, etc. and the party is assured of victory; the party has by-and-large managed to successfully restrain its more militant members and maintain the peace.
President Mnangagwa is hoping that the party will be able to do this again this year and so to him this year’s elections must be judged on whether they were peaceful; forget there were no reforms implemented and how blatant the subtle vote rigging shenanigans happen to be! His main message is that SADC leaders must concentrate on whether the elections are peaceful.
“Zimbabwe is going for elections in four to five months’ time and we have to preach peace, peace and peace because we know it is good for us and we have no doubt that we will have peaceful elections,” said President Mnangagwa his counterpart in Mozambique.
“I assure the regional leadership that the forthcoming harmonised polls will embrace the tenets of democracy, fair play and standards set by us in the SADC. We will ensure that Zimbabwe delivers free, credible, fair and undisputable elections to ensure Zimbabwe engages the world as a qualified democratic state.”
SADC leaders must refuse to have their assessment of the elections limited to just whether there was physical violence or not. They must ensure there is no cheating by allowing some people to cast multiple vote, Chiefs the coercing voters to vote, etc. and the only sure way that these things do not happen is to insist that all the democratic reforms are implemented before the elections!
There is no excuse for SADC leaders to buy into President Mnangagwa’s story that he can hold free and fair elections given his track record. It was him and his Junta syndicate who masterminded all the vote rigging, political violence and staged the military coups and, to crown it all, it was Zanu PF that stubbornly refused to implement reforms in the past and the party continues to do so to this day.
Zanu PF is rigging the elections already by bribing Chiefs with new trucks, there is no way ZEC is going to produce a verified voters’ roll before the election, etc. How can SADC leaders declare the process free, fair and credible without losing their own credibility! Source – zsdemocrats